Day 11 - March 7
Dr. Sherri E. Wood-Powe
Pastor, Oak Chapel UMC; Presiding Elder, Greater Washington District, Baltimore Washington Conference; Chair, Worship Team, Baltimore Washington Conference
Exceeding Expectations ~ Deuteronomy 26:16–19; Psalm 119:1–8
The Lenten season is always a good time for reflection. An opportunity to look inward and evaluate ourselves. Are we simply going through the motions? Are we like the Sadducees and Pharisees, more concerned about the letter of the law than the spirit of the law? Are we operating for form and fashion or are we living in spirit and in truth?
In the Deuteronomy text, we are reminded that we should keep the Lord’s commands and statues with all our heart and all our soul. If we look back through the preceding chapters of Deuteronomy, we know that there were a lot of commands and statutes given. Could the expectation have possibly been to keep ALL of them? And really, “with ALL our heart and ALL our soul”?
If we are putting ALL our heart and soul into something, we are not concerned with the bare minimum. We go above and beyond what is required, exceeding expectations. Psalm 119 reminds us those who keep the laws of the Lord are blessed and won’t be put to shame. Daily, as children of God, we are called to exceed expectations. We are called to live lives worthy of our calling.
Being in community, especially Christian community, we are challenged to live in accordance with the spirit of the law. This does not mean forgoing the letter of the law; instead,exceeding the letter of the law to walk in the ways of Jesus, who came to fulfill the law.